Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) came from well back in the field to win the opening round on the short track at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto, In the women’s XCC race, Laura Stigger (Specialized Factory Racing) used a powerful surge at the finish to score the victory from a group of five.
Friday’s short track races in Czech Republic were the first round of the eight-round World Cup series for XCC and XCO events.
Pidcock started in the back of the field in 40th out of 41 positions and used every second to make passes to score the win in a time of 20:17. Samuel Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV) hit the line one second behind, with the New Zealander Gaze taking second.
In the swarm of riders who blasted over the wet finish on their back wheels, Mathias Flückiger (Thömus Maxon) taking fourth just ahead of Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM-MTB Racing) in fifth and Daniele Braidot (CS Carabinieri-Cicli Olympia Vittoria) in sixth, that trio two seconds back.
On the final lap, Pidcock rocketed into second place behind Schwarzbauer, then overtook the German after the final climb. The Briton held the lead for the sprint into the arena for the victory.
“I only found out I was racing at 3 o’clock having already done a three-and-a-half hour training ride this morning,” Pidcock said in his post-race interview. “I always like racing here having been second in the short track before so it’s nice to win one finally.”
Meanwhile, Stigger worked her own magic on the final lap to separate herself from four other riders. She had moved in front of 2022 winner Alessandra Keller (Thömus Maxon), but Keller then passed her as they entered the arena. Stigger was able to make the final pass for the win at the line in a time of 19:02, with Keller just off her wheel one second back.
Keller secured second place by edging a trio of riders at the line, Sina Frei (Specialized Factory Racing) in third, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Ineos Grenadiers) in fourth and Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing XC) in fifth.
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Men’s short track results
Women’s short track results
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